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Old 11-11-2016, 03:31 PM   #1
kflux
 
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Default Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

This post is an attempt to verify that my understanding of the rules relating to the combat possibilities listed in the post subject is correct.

Background for my questions:
A) On B365, it says, “A Feint is good for one second! But if you Feint and then make an All-Out Attack (Double), the feint applies to both attacks.”

B) In Douglas Cole’s description of Setup Attacks (PM3-52 page 23), he writes, “The defensive penalties imparted by a Setup Attack have an expiration date: the next attack launched by the aggressor… or at the end of the attacker’s following turn – whichever comes first”.

C) From Gurps FAQ 3.4.2.19: “If attacks are made during the same turn following a Feint, the Feint applies only to those attacks. Otherwise, the Feint applies to attacks made on the following turn.”

Question 1
As per A), is it correct to conclude that if you Feint on one turn and then Rapid Strike on the next turn, the penalty to the opponent’s defense applies for BOTH Rapid Strike attacks (or all Rapid Strike attacks if Extreme Rapid Strike is allowed)?

Question 2
This one is about extending the logic from A) to B) (i.e., from Feints to Setup Attacks). Is it correct to conclude that if you Setup Attack on one turn (assume the opponent is hit or defends by 0) and then Rapid Strike on the next turn, the penalty to the opponent’s defense applies for BOTH Rapid Strike attacks (not just the first of the two)?

Questions 3A & 3B
If 2 is yes, then these probably are also: Is it correct to conclude that if you have Extra Attack 1 (Multi-Strike), and you Setup Attack with your first attack (assume the opponent is hit or defends by 0), following that up with a Rapid Strike using the same melee weapon, then the penalty to the opponent’s defense applies for BOTH Rapid Strike attacks (not just the first of the two)? Is it correct, as per logic of C), to further conclude that this “uses up” the benefits of the setup attack during this turn, and that the penalty to defense from the setup attack does NOT transfer to the next turn if it has already been applied to the rapid strike attacks?

Question 4
This one is about combining Feints and Setup Attacks. Assume Extra Attack 1 (Multi-Strike), the first attack substitutes a successful Feint, and the second attack is a Rapid Strike. Furthermore, both Rapid Strike attacks will be Setup Attacks. Does the penalty to the opponent’s defense due to the Feint apply to BOTH of the Setup Attacks that make up the Rapid Strike?

Question 5
Perhaps this is a touch contrived, but it’s about clarifying the interactions. Assume Extreme Rapid Strike for 3 attacks. First attack is a Setup Attack (assume the opponent is hit or defends by 0). Second attack is a successful Feint substitution. Does the penalty to the opponent’s defense against the third attack include the stacked penalties from both the Setup Attack and the Feint? Note that as per B365 the Feint maneuver is not an attack (so it should not “use up” the Setup Attack penalty earned in the first of the 3 attacks), and that this scenario is all within the same turn. Thus this scenario differs from Douglas Cole’s original comment regarding the default stance regarding stacking, Feints, and Setup Attacks, which was: ”Neither Feints or Setup Attacks usually stack from turn to turn”.

Thanks!
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Old 11-11-2016, 06:51 PM   #2
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

Quote:
Originally Posted by kflux View Post
Question 1
As per A), is it correct to conclude that if you Feint on one turn and then Rapid Strike on the next turn, the penalty to the opponent’s defense applies for BOTH Rapid Strike attacks (or all Rapid Strike attacks if Extreme Rapid Strike is allowed)?
Yes. MA127, "Feints and Multiple Attacks".

i don't know rest answers - I was never using rule for setup attacks.
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Old 11-11-2016, 10:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

My conclusion (based on your quotes, not my paltry knowledge of setup attacks) is that you cannot generalize from feints to setup attacks. A feint applies to an entire turn's worth of attacks: attacks on the same turn, if any, and attacks on the following turn otherwise. Setup attacks apply to the next single attack, as long as it's on the same or following turn.

Yeah, I just went back and re-read Delayed Gratification. Quality article. If you want more than one attack to benefit from setup, use Stacked Setups. Which begs the question, if you can stack setups, why would you ever waste the bonus by using a follow-up attack? The rule where each subsequent setup gives a stacking +1 bonus to defend helps defray this, but if I can reliably take -4 and still hit, then I can slowly whittle away my opponent's defense with full-strength attacks. Not sure what to do about that.
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Old 11-12-2016, 06:43 PM   #4
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
My conclusion (based on your quotes, not my paltry knowledge of setup attacks) is that you cannot generalize from feints to setup attacks. A feint applies to an entire turn's worth of attacks: attacks on the same turn, if any, and attacks on the following turn otherwise. Setup attacks apply to the next single attack, as long as it's on the same or following turn.
Yeah, that's the intent. I poke high, and then when your guard is up, slice yer belly. After that, I've used up that opening.

I could see trying it though. Rapid Strike has enough penalties that it might be useful - you still might not HIT (the penalty is to your foe's defenses), but if you do, they're going to have a hard time defending. Play it and see!

Quote:
Yeah, I just went back and re-read Delayed Gratification. Quality article. If you want more than one attack to benefit from setup, use Stacked Setups.
Thanks.

Quote:
Which begs the question, if you can stack setups, why would you ever waste the bonus by using a follow-up attack? The rule where each subsequent setup gives a stacking +1 bonus to defend helps defray this, but if I can reliably take -4 and still hit, then I can slowly whittle away my opponent's defense with full-strength attacks. Not sure what to do about that.
Can you amplify on the issue? It's been a while since I've used or reviewed my own work here.
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Old 11-12-2016, 07:04 PM   #5
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
Which begs the question, if you can stack setups, why would you ever waste the bonus by using a follow-up attack? The rule where each subsequent setup gives a stacking +1 bonus to defend helps defray this, but if I can reliably take -4 and still hit, then I can slowly whittle away my opponent's defense with full-strength attacks. Not sure what to do about that.
Note that, with the way Setup Attacks are... well, set up... anytime you successfully hit and the target doesn't defend well enough to negate the Setup, the attack would have connected outright if you'd used Deceptive Attack. Setup Attacks only give a benefit if you use them to strike low-value locations, then once you have a good enough penalty you cash it in for a better strike. In the introductory story, between the high to-hit penalty and the necromancer emphasizing defense of the Heartstone, Indigo can't reliably hit it - so he goes after a target he can reliably hit (the leg) with a Setup Attack, then uses that defense penalty to target the Heartstone. For potential numbers, let's say Indigo has something like Rapier-23 and the necromancer has Parry 12 for the Heartstone (and will likely use Feverish Defenses and Retreat, for 17), but only Parry 10 for the leg. Indigo takes a -2 for the leg and -8 for Setup (skill 13), and the necromancer gets a bad roll, so Indigo scores a hit and imposes a -4 on the next defense. He goes for broke (this is an all-or-nothing attempt) with All Out Attack (Determined) and has to take a -5 to hit the Heartstone; he combines that with a -10 for Deceptive, for Skill 12 against Parry 8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Yeah, that's the intent. I poke high, and then when your guard is up, slice yer belly. After that, I've used up that opening.
While a Setup Attack involves more investment of time and energy than a Feint (because you're actually striking), I personally wouldn't have an issue with it leaving the same sort of opening as the latter. Of course, you may recall my thread about revamping Feints using the Setup Attack mechanic, so I've got a bit of a bias.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

This is a great forum. Everyone seems quite knowledgeable, and invested in responding thoughtfully to questions. Very nice to see. Thanks to each person for all the responses to this query so far.

I'd also like to add a special thanks to Douglas Cole, as Setup Attacks are a very cool addition to GURPS combat. Awesome work!

I'll take the "try it and see" message to heart with my playgroup, but I'd like to add a brief summary of what I have gleaned to be "the original intent" based on the thread responses thus far, which folks are of course invited to clarify or rebut, since I'll admit that I am still feeling unclear on Questions 4 and especially 5:

Question 1: Yes, the penalty applies to both rapid strike attacks.
Question 2: No, the penalty only applies to the first of the two rapid strike attacks following the setup attack.
Question 3A: No, the penalty only applies to the first of the two rapid strike attacks.
Question 3B: Yes, the benefits are "used up" and do not transfer to the next turn.
Question 4: No, the penalty only applies to the first of the two rapid strike attacks.
Question 5: No, the feint effectively nullifies the benefit of the setup attack, so that the third attack in the sequence of Extreme Rapid Strike only provides the defensive penalty from the Feint.

I'll admit that, in spite of the perhaps contrived nature of Question 5, I am troubled by my present summary to Question 5. It seems to me that the penalties should stack in this case, even if the GM is not allowing stacked setups from turn to turn. My understanding is that, as per Basic RAW, a feint is not an attack, so it shouldn't "use up" the benefit from the initial setup attack. Only the next attack should "use up" the benefit of the previous Setup Attack (assuming of course that the end of the attacker's following turn has not yet been reached, as per B) in OP).

So please (!), someone disagree with the summary to 5 (Question 5 is in the OP). :)

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2016, 10:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

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Originally Posted by kflux View Post
So please (!), someone disagree with the summary to 5 (Question 5 is in the OP). :)

Thanks!
I agree with how the situation presented in Question 5 works out, but I think the attacker is going about their business in entirely the wrong order. If the order were feint -> setup attack -> followup attack, it seems to me that the second would benefit from the first, and the third would benefit from both. No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
Can you amplify on the issue? It's been a while since I've used or reviewed my own work here.
So, I've posited that I can take -4 and still reliably hit, so I suppose I have a pretty nice score: that, or I'm hitting something really big. Let's say I have Broadsword-20, Extra Attack, and I'm wielding a pair of bokken. To keep things fair, we might as well give my opponent two swords, Broadsword-20, and Combat Reflexes, for a Parry of 14. Hmm... now that I do the math out like this, I see there might not be a problem.

The scenario I was envisioning was one where I continually alternate righthand-lefthand attacks on the torso to stack up a growing setup penalty, and never cash it in for a followup attack, preferring to keep the penalty growing. Why take -4 to impose -2 on the next parry if I can take -4 to impose a penalty on every subsequent parry in the fight? Assuming they never parry well enough to erase the penalty, it should keep growing, even using the rule that each subsequent defense gets +1.

But what I see now is that, against an adversary of equal skill, the penalty won't get the chance to accumulate like that. Using the numbers above, I drop my skill to 16 to inflict -2 on the following attack, but a Parry of 14 is fairly likely to remove the whole penalty. Plus, if repeated setups give a cumulative +1 bonus to defense, even a Parry of 13 is reaonably likely to chip away at the penalty faster than it stacks up.

So my new conclusion is that stacking a ton of setups into an insurmountable penalty is a workable strategy in two circumstances: 1. your skill is noticeably higher than your opponent's (but then there are plenty of ways to make sure a hit connects), or 2. your opponent is very large, and the bonus you get from their SM lets you lay on the setup penalty plenty thick. So it's not nearly as effective as I estimated it would be.
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Old 11-13-2016, 06:53 AM   #8
kflux
 
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
I agree with how the situation presented in Question 5 works out, but I think the attacker is going about their business in entirely the wrong order.
You are probably right! This is why I referred to the scenario as perhaps contrived. :) But, aside from the stacking aspect, part of the point of the scenario is to try to verify that the feint does not "use up" the preceding setup attack penalty, since the feint is not an attack.
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Old 11-13-2016, 04:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

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Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
So my new conclusion is that stacking a ton of setups into an insurmountable penalty is a workable strategy in two circumstances: 1. your skill is noticeably higher than your opponent's (but then there are plenty of ways to make sure a hit connects), or 2. your opponent is very large, and the bonus you get from their SM lets you lay on the setup penalty plenty thick. So it's not nearly as effective as I estimated it would be.
Really, the only case where just continuing to pound away at the target with Setup Attacks instead of eventually cashing them in is a case where you can penalize the target enough to make his defense moderately unlikely and you need multiple attacks to bring him down. This is because (as I've already stated) the first attack you make that actually imposes a penalty would have hit if it were Deceptive instead of a Setup, but maintaining this can potentially allow you to continue hitting at a greater rate. Once the penalty is high enough the target is particularly unlikely to manage to defend, however, you should expect an All Out Attack (or some other case of "Don't Do Something - Just Stand There") to reset the penalty to 0.
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Old 11-13-2016, 05:25 PM   #10
McAllister
 
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Default Re: Extra Attack (Multi-Strike), Feints, Setup Attacks, Rapid Strike

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Really, the only case where just continuing to pound away at the target with Setup Attacks instead of eventually cashing them in is a case where you can penalize the target enough to make his defense moderately unlikely and you need multiple attacks to bring him down. This is because (as I've already stated) the first attack you make that actually imposes a penalty would have hit if it were Deceptive instead of a Setup, but maintaining this can potentially allow you to continue hitting at a greater rate. Once the penalty is high enough the target is particularly unlikely to manage to defend, however, you should expect an All Out Attack (or some other case of "Don't Do Something - Just Stand There") to reset the penalty to 0.
Hmmm... if I can expect to survive multiple attacks, and I can expect my unpenalized Parry to work a good amount of the time, yeah, it's in my best interests to drop my defenses entirely for a turn to reset the penalty. Very good point!
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